Unknown Future, Known God

For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope. Then when you call upon me and come and pray to me, I will hear you. When you search for me, you will find me; if you seek me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:11-13 (NRSV)

You never know when you will be jolted into remembering an essential truth. In a quiet moment over the weekend, I opened a book given to me by staff colleagues when I retired from college teaching in 2016. Inscribed in it were words that I kept posted on my computer for many years, words that they claimed as “my advice” to them, words that they were re-gifting to me: Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.

Right now, the only thing that we can say with certainty about the future is that it is unknown. We do not know what the world will look like in two weeks or four, in two months or four. Sometimes I find it overwhelming to understand our present circumstances; I cannot begin to grasp what lies ahead.

But we do know God. As Gulley and Mulholland discussed in their book, If Grace is True, we know the character of God. We know God created the world and everything in it, and called it all good—including human beings made in God’s own image. We know God so loved the world that God sent Jesus to show us that love and to teach us how to live in that love. We know God so loved the world that God raised Jesus from the dead to show the power of love—love that triumphs even over death. In the words of the prophet Jeremiah, we know God plans for our welfare, and not for harm, to give us a future with hope. “When you call upon me and come and pray to me, I will hear you. When you search for me, you will find me.”

Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.

Rev. Dr. Sharon Harris-Ewing
Assistant Minister

Today, let us focus our prayer on children:
Creator God, Loving Parent, Spirit of Joy: When we feel overwhelmed by what we know and what we don’t know, remind us of the children among us who know and understand so much less. Help us to be fully present with them, to answer questions, to calm fears, to divert attention, to offer hope, to spark laughter, to embody your love for them, even as Jesus embodied your love for all of us. Amen.